Monday, February 1, 2016

Cycling and the Summer Olympics

History of Cycling and the Summer Olympics Games

Cycling as an activity was adopted rapidly, this is after the bicycle discovery by Baron Karl von Drais; a prolific German inventor in 1817. Unlike the other transport medium of those days, a bicycle simple method of moving from one place to another gave individual a choice that was never there before. The only disadvantage of the bicycle was one needed to learn the art of counterbalancing in order to enjoy the ride. This invention of the bicycle or Draisienne as it known back then created three uses which are means of transport from one place to another, a way of recreation and a competitive sporting tool.

Almost 70 years later in 1886 Athens Summer Olympics, it featured as one of the 9 sports and with track events taking place in Neo Phaliron Velodrome. Back in 1896 five nations participated in the cycling sport; these nations were Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain as well as the host Greece.

The cycling events in these Summer Olympics were Road Race and track events and took place between the 8th and the 13th of April. The track evets were 1 kilometer time trial however it only took a third of a kilometer, individual sprint, 12 hour race, 10 and 100 track events. Some of these activities would never feature in another edition of the Summer Olympics, these includes, the 10KM and the 100KM track even. Also featuring only in the 1896 Summer Olympics but would the subsequent six Summer Olympics Editions was the road race by individual cyclists and would resume in the Amsterdam, 1928 Summer Olympics. The 1 kilometer time trial would also be discontinued for six editions only to resume in the 1928 edition of the games.

The individual sprint would feature in these inaugural Olympics games in Athens and other 25 edition including the coming 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, missing only the 1904 Summer Olympics Games in 1904 St. Louis, Missouri in the USA and the 1912 Summer Olympics held in Stockholm, Sweden

Many changes have taken place in cycling sport since the 1896 Athens Summer Olympics Games; these include more events, increased number of teams and participants, the inclusion of women among other changes.

Team Pursuit first featured in the 1908 Summer Olympics held in London; however it did not feature in the 1912 Summer Olympics but would feature continuously in the other 23 edition and is part of the cycling events in the coming Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Keirin has featured only in the last four editions of the Summer Olympics, having debuted at the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics.

Omnium has only featured in the last summer Olympics; London 2012 but schedule to be part of the Rio 2016 events, while Team Pursuit has only featured in the last 4 edition from the Sydney Summer Olympics to London 2012 and will feature in Rio too.

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics will feature equal events for both men and women. These includes, road race, time trial, sprint for individuals as well as team, pursuit for teams only, Keirin, omnium, cross country and BMX. The Cycling sport will start on the 6th of August and will run till the 20th of August.

Rebecca Twigg from the USA; The first woman cycling silver medalist

This Picture is from Wikipedia

Women first participated in cycling events in the 1984 Loss Angeles Olympics and even then they only participated in only one event; women's individual road race, which was won by an American Connie Carpenter-Phinney then aged 27 years old. Her compatriot; Rebecca Twigg took the silver medal while Germany Sandra Schumacher went home with a bronze medal. Since then women events have always featured in the summer Olympics games